Measuring Board Effectiveness - New Research
Monday, 9th October 2006 at 1:10 pm
A ‘checklist’ approach to meeting minimum responsibilities of a Not for Profit board is no longer sufficient to help organisations deal with growing needs, challenges, and regulations confronting the sector according to new US Research.
Not for Profit board members were once thought to be effective if they donated funds or services, or persuaded others to donate, at a certain level to the organization.
According to research conducted by the Bridgespan Group in collaboration with the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, fundraising is still important but it is not enough in the current climate.
The research says many boards take a “checklist” approach to ensure they are meeting their minimum responsibilities such as oversight of the executive director, financial health and controls and legal activities such as independent audits.
But oversight alone is not sufficient to create an effective board according to David Simms, Managing Director, Bridgestar.
Instead, he says, the Bridgespan team found that how the board does its work is as important as what it does.
By evaluating the five critical factors – people, culture, decision-making processes, information flows, and structures – organisations can bring clarity to what they need from their boards, and what each board member can provide, based on his or her skills and interests.
Bridgestar says that the solution for how to become a more effective board will generally be different for each organisation because each of those factors varies widely from one organization to the next. But addressing those five factors will help answer questions about how to choose the ‘right’ approaches for each organization.”
Insights from the research appear in the September issue of “Leadership Matters,” available at: www.bridgestar.org.
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